Tactics tick right boxes for Bridet

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Jack Bishop aged 21 in the Airborne Division

‘If ever I had a hero in my life then Jack was it’

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Olympic hopeful Greg Bridet sealed an ABA Championship final return with another sensational showing.

The Heart of Portsmouth heavy-hitter has made it to the last stage of amateur boxing’s most prestigious event once again.

Bridet did that in emphatic style as he picked up a unanimous win over Lynn powerhouse Martin McDonagh in the semi-finals in London.

But Moneyfields’ Josh Pritchard just missed on making the final round in his debut senior season.

Pritchard went down to a majority points loss to West Ham’s Lucien Reid at 54kg.

Bridet will step out in the final at 91kg, though, on April 20 in Sunderland.

The 22-year-old will be aiming to go one better than last year, when he went down to a disputed loss to Corby’s Simon Barclay.

It’s been a meteoric rise for Bridet, with his induction on the Great Britain development squad also recently taking place.

Coach Q Shillingford believes he is capable of going one better after coming through a gruelling battle.

He said: ‘Greg’s tactics were spot on and he executed the game plan perfectly.

‘His opponent has won national titles and was not giving an inch.

‘He was a good boxer so we had to use Greg’s advantages – his size, strength and unbelievable fitness.

‘McDonagh has been around for a lot longer than Greg has, and been on the circuit for 17 years.

‘We wanted to keep changing tactics, and the beauty of Greg is you can do that with him.

‘McDonagh wasn’t going to give up all the time he had a pulse. He was well conditioned from years of boxing but Greg’s was superior.

‘In the first round we pushed him back in the orthodox stance.

‘Then Greg came out a southpaw, turned him and hit him with body shots in the second.

‘McDonagh was an experienced boxer, so we then changed tactics again and went to switch-hitting in the last round and kept the pressure on him.

‘He was a tough boxer and it was a war, but Greg had too much.

‘The more people Greg beats like this the more it shows Greg is right up there.

‘We’re so glad to have a potential Olympian in Portsmouth, We’re over the moon with the victory.’

Pritchard could take heart from his display against a high-calibre opponent in Reid.

The margin of victory proved a tight one, but the result represents a fine return for the 18-year-old in his first season in senior boxing.

His father and Moneyfields secretary Aaron Pritchard said: ‘He lost it 3-2, so it was that tight.

‘It’s his first year in the seniors and he has got to the semi-finals.

‘He lost to the eventual winner last year and it through to the finals again, so it showed his quality. He was elusive and used the ring well, but there wasn’t a lot in it at all. It was so close.

‘When we entered our target was to be Southern Counties champion.

‘But Josh has learned a lot from it and we’re very proud of what he has achieved.’